I've been wanting to write about my experience at the Solid Sound Festival two weekends ago but having house guests during the festival then leaving for a whirlwind vacation during the last day totally made it hard for me to sit down and write my thoughts. I'm home and it's a rainy day. I can reminisce now.
The festival was unlike any music festival I've ever been to because it was SO multidisciplinary. It was not just about music. It was a festival of the arts. I loved that at any given moment during the program there were so many choices to witness. It was hard to chose what I wanted to be a part of and I wish I could have been omnipresent and taken it all in. The galleries at MassMOCA were open for viewing, there were comedy performances, live music performances, live theater, puppetry, special workshops given by some members of WILCO, specially selected movies to view, good food and lots of drinks to choose from.
For two days I was a part of something big, yet accessible, connected and thought out and I liked that. I felt like I was living and breathing the arts and I enjoyed being part of a bigger thing that made available the witnessing of other artist's ideas, talents, energy and creativity.
Usually music festivals are so predictable. You walk around from stage to stage, pushing through crowds of people, trying to take in different acts and maybe in between musicians and group performances you grab a beer or a bite to eat. Solid Sound was totally different. The campus of Mass MOCA was our playground for the entire weekend. We could be inside one of the redesigned, old industrial buildings, outside at the dining and drinking patio, we could be in a myriad of industrial courtyards with colorful lighting, interesting textures and sculptural installations, there were indoor state of the art performance theaters, an outdoor movie screen, outdoor stages and one big grassy field with a big stage for the headlining acts, Mavis Staples and WILCO.
Personal highlights for me were....
...seeing Kristen Schaal's live comedy. I laughed so hard during her last skit I was crying.
...Mountain Man's exquisite set of three part harmony singing (more to come on them later)
...viewing WILCO's poster art in one of the gallery spaces
...unexpectedly walking past John Stirratt (bassist for WILCO) twice early Friday evening
...witnessing Mavis Staples own the stage with such grace and power
...being about 20 feet away and dead center in front of Jeff Tweedy during WILCO's killer, over 2 hour long, set. They put on a fabulous show. I was thrilled to witness what monsters/masters Nels Cline (electric guitar) and Glenn Kotche (drums) were on their instruments.
THANK YOU WILCO FOR A FESTIVAL LIKE NO OTHER! I hope you do it again next year!
Here are some photo's from Friday evening before it got dark and the space filled up with people: